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Is it worth me joining the reserves?

Domfok

Crow
Hi guys.

I appreciate there may be similar threads on here but I think I find myself in a fairly peculiar situation. There’s no right or wrong answer to this thread, I’m just asking for the advice and opinions of people who know the forces better than myself.

As a bit of background info, I’m 22 years old, fresh out of uni and currently working full time in a well paid but shit job unrelated to my degree. My plan initially was to work here for two years after finishing uni, travel for a year, then return to uni to do my Masters Degree which is more of a specialised subject than my undergrad. Once I returned from travelling, I intended on joining the reserves as I’ve always wanted to join the forces as well, and it seemed like an obvious way to pursue both careers (forces & career related to my studies).

However, I’ve had a recent change in heart, and realised that while the masters degree and following career will be available whether I’m 20, 30, 40 or 50, I can only join the army while I’m young, so I’ve decided to join the army full time, probably as an officer once I’m back from my year of travelling.

I’d still like to join the reserves for now so I can get a taste of army life and know a little bit more about what would be expected of me.

essentially what I’m asking is that if I’m looking at going travelling for a year towards the end of next year (Sep/ Oct / Nov 2021) is it worth me joining the reserves until I go? my main concerns are will I even be able to get training done by then? Will that be long enough to get a taste of the army life? Will it put me at any advantage at all if and when I decide to join as an officer full time?

thanks in advance!
 
Yes. You can either pick it up when you get back, or go and join as a regular.

Added to which it may teach you some useful skills for your travels - and some places nowadays having some military skills quietly tucked away in your back pocket can be handy.

As for a career trajectory in the regular military, I was not an officer, but I have a few degrees to my name that I worked for after the army. Yes having a degree and the discipline to do methodical, research based work will serve you well if you become an officer. However, the kid's I knew who did Masters degrees and who subsequently joined the forces with a commission seemed to do a little better. Added to which, it may be that you might find a career in the security services a bit more enticing and they do like their flyers to have post-grad qualificatons, allegedly...................lets face it every oik who can write their name can pick up a first degree nowadays.
 
...if I’m looking at going travelling for a year towards the end of next year (Sep/ Oct / Nov 2021)...
I would suggest revising your plans to include an option that omits the year travelling. I doubt that leisure travel will resume until Covid-19 is eradicated globally or at least until it can be vaccinated against in any remaining small pockets. Even then, there won't be many carriers around, many will have gone bust, aircraft will be waiting for MoTs and crew (including ground staff) will need retraining. I suspect that it'll be 5 years or more before things return to any state of normalcy.

That narrows your interest to whether you join the AR in the period up to gaining your Masters and whether to remain AR or go Regular thereafter.
 
Short answer: yes, join the reserves. Seize the day, who knows what the future holds?
 

Dr Death

War Hero
Join the reserves, see if you like it, if you do then see how it goes.
Then decide on a regular or reserve career either as an officer or in the ranks.
You could always go LE later in career.
 

DTBA

War Hero
You might find with the Reserves that you like it, and you might like it so much you choose to pursue it full time. Alternatively, you might dislike it. It might become very apparent that it isn't for you. Or you might do what most do and fall somewhere in the middle.
 

Slime

LE
What type of unit are you looking to join, and in which role?
That may help others be able to offer more accurate advice.

Edit.
No need to be too specific.
 
What type of unit are you looking to join, and in which role?
That may help others be able to offer more accurate advice.

Edit.
No need to be too specific.
I was just about to ask too, if the OP didn't mind sharing.

Who's local and/or who has your fancy?
 

Yarra

Old-Salt
Do it. It will probably be one of the best decisions you will make. Go commissioned, aim high. Army career pathways are now flexible enough to allow a range of differing TCoS throughout your time in Service. You will then have the flexibility to enjoy a very full-filling career.

Yarra.
 

Slime

LE
I was just about to ask too, if the OP didn't mind sharing.

Who's local and/or who has your fancy?

I asked as it could be that depending on trade or role it might be just as good either way, or better for reserves or regular.
 
I asked as it could be that depending on trade or role it might be just as good either way, or better for reserves or regular.
There's also an element where the OP could look at the fundamental role at a 'private' in the reserves and then look at the commission in the Regs if that's where it leads them.

Lots of choices.
 

Domfok

Crow
What type of unit are you looking to join, and in which role?
That may help others be able to offer more accurate advice.

I was thinking of putting in for a CMT role. I’m based in Suffolk but just next to Essex also, so I knows there’s a lot of AAC and RLC units about, but to be perfectly honest a lot of the technical and mechanical roles aren’t of interest to me so I was thinking of going for one of the infantry units nearby.
 

Domfok

Crow
You might find with the Reserves that you like it, and you might like it so much you choose to pursue it full time. Alternatively, you might dislike it. It might become very apparent that it isn't for you. Or you might do what most do and fall somewhere in the middle.

I’m not expecting the full army experience from the reserves, but this is exactly what I was hoping for, but enough insight to influence my decision going full time.
 

Domfok

Crow
I would suggest revising your plans to include an option that omits the year travelling.

Unfortunately the year of travelling is almost essential to my masters. The course & uni I’ll be applying for is very sought after so without a period of practical experience I’m very unlikely to be accepted. Funnily enough a lot of the skills I’d be likely to pick up whilst in the army would be easily applied to that industry.
 

Yarra

Old-Salt
I was thinking of putting in for a CMT role. I’m based in Suffolk but just next to Essex also, so I knows there’s a lot of AAC and RLC units about, but to be perfectly honest a lot of the technical and mechanical roles aren’t of interest to me so I was thinking of going for one of the infantry units nearby.

3 Royal Anglian, 4 Para, LONDONS (if you are near decent public transport)?
 

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